Liposuction continues to be one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed today. There is really nothing revolutionary when it comes to liposuction — all techniques basically involve the removal of fat in areas around the body. Although marketers would like you to think that some machines offer superior results over others, this is simply not true. It’s the person who performs the liposuction that determines the quality of your results.
I have learned after several thousand liposuction cases that this procedure is often offered to many patients who are really not good candidates. If you are overweight and not at or near your ideal BMI, you should not be considering liposuction. One of the biggest problems with liposuction is that weight gain after your procedure can result in a body imbalance—fat can “travel” to other areas, which can be disappointing. Most liposuction patients will gain weight after treatment over their lifetime. This is the critical component to the understanding of “traveling fat.”
Think of this analogy: you have a big lawn and you mow the right side (liposuction area). If the grass continues to grow (you gain weight), the low cut side will get taller and the uncut side gets even taller. The idea of traveling fat is that you will increase fullness in the untreated areas of your body relative to the treated areas and this can make you appear unbalanced. This most commonly happens in patients who are overweight and have a history of poor weight control or weight fluctuations. This issue is not important in those who have a stable weight history and have a normal BMI.
To summarize, liposuction is most suitable for those patients who are close to their ideal BMI and have “trouble” areas that don’t change with weight gain or loss. Since these patients don’t have weight swings, they won’t experience “traveling fat.”